Father of The Bride Speech: Opening and Ending

The following tried-and-proven strategies will show you how to open your Father of The Bride speech with confidence to instantly capture attention, put you in control, and warm people to you as the proud father you are. Equally important, you will learn how to finish with impact so your speech is a memorable one.

Opening: Give careful thought to the first words you say as they will set the scene of who you are and give an idea of where you are going and why you’ve earned the right to be there. In order to do this it’s important you first accept that nervous energy and a racing heart is a perfectly natural reaction for anyone getting up to speak. Everyone experiences this sort of thing. Here’s how to transform it into something positive. With your opening simply pretend you are a lot more confident than you actually feel. Slightly raise your voice a little louder than usual by being a touch larger than life. By ‘acting out’ the confident speaker you want to be for those first few sentences of your speech (even though you might not feel it!), you’ll not only capture attention, you’ll leave those initial nerves behind so you can comfortably settle down to enjoy the rest of your speech in a friendly conversational manner. Don’t worry, all this will look perfectly normal to your listeners.

As the father of the bride, here’s an example of the opening words your guests could hear:

“When I first heard my daughter was getting married a terrible fear swept over me… ‘I’ll have to give a speech!!'”

An opening such as this will not only stimulate a laugh, which never fails to break the ice, it will help your listeners relate to the uncomfortable feelings we all experience when confronted with a speech. It also radiates empathy with your listeners by showing them you are a fallible human being just like them.

Now you are ready to share some of those priceless memories of your daughter in the body of your speech as she transitioned from the little girl you used to rock to sleep in your arms to the beautiful woman ‘before us today’. With the groom, you could not only highlight one or two qualities you admire in him, you could tell the story of how he acted strangely on the day he asked you for her hand in marriage…

Ending: As with your opening, the closing words of your speech need special attention with your approach, content, and delivery.

Now nearing the end of your talk your heartfelt words and entertaining stories have won your listeners’ respect and they are looking forward to joining you in a toast to the Bride and Groom. Just before proposing the toast, take advantage of this trust and anticipation with a few ‘fatherly’ words of advice for the groom along the lines:

“Bill, if I may be so bold as to offer you some sage advice… Allow me to borrow a few words of wisdom from the famous philosopher OGDEN NASH.

To keep your marriage brimming with love in the marriage cup… Whenever you are wrong admit it. Whenever you are right shut up!”

Proposing the Toast: At this point you are ready to invite everyone to stand and join you in a toast to the Bride and Groom, keeping in mind that audiences just LOVE to be led. They’re genuinely looking forward to your leadership. So say something like the following with confidence!

“Ladies and gentlemen would you all please stand and join me as I propose a Toast to the Bride and Groom.” Allow them to stand. Now raise your glass towards the happy couple and say something like, “To Bill and Mary for a long life of health and happiness as they embark on this wonderful journey together.” Everyone will automatically join with you and say “To Bill and Mary” as you all toast the newlyweds. Nothing more need be said. You simply return to your seat and sit down.

To summarize: An effective Opening and Ending of your Father of The Bride speech is critical for two important reasons: A confident opening not only calms your nerves, it sets the scene of a proud father who is there with a clear purpose of what he wants to say. And a crisp, clear, deliberate ending led by someone in control of the Toast, rounds it all off nicely. So to ensure the success of your Father of The Bride speech, make sure you give careful thought to both the beginning and ending of this all-important talk.